BEIJING: Nickel prices climbed to multi-month highs on Monday, as market talks of China government’s plans to buy the metal for state stockpiles triggered concerns of tight supply, while a bullish sentiment in base metals also supported.

Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.8% at $19,740 per ton, as of 0200 GMT, hitting its highest level in seven months. The contract rose 8.6% in the previous week.

The most-traded June nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange jumped 6% to 147,660 yuan ($20,389.68) per ton, the highest level since last October.

Nickel was boosted by market talk that China’s stockpiler, the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration, was planning to buy nickel pig iron, the main feedstock for stainless steel, industry sources said.

Ban on metals from Russia, one of the world’s main suppliers for nickel and aluminium, by Washington and London also raised concerns of global supply disruptions.

Copper hits two-year high, nickel surges on talk of China buying

China state-backed research house Antaike expects the outlook for metals including copper, gold and aluminium to remain strong on robust Chinese demand outlook and macro uncertainties.

LME tin rose 1% to $35,950, aluminium increased 0.3% to $2,678 a ton, nickel was up 0.5% at $19,430, zinc added 0.4% to $2,863.50, lead slid 0.7% to $2,204.

SHFE tin jumped 5.5% to 282,050 yuana ton, aluminium was up 1.8% at 20,755 yuan, copper rose 2.2% to 80,720 yuan, zinc rallied 1.5% to 22,945 yuan, while lead slipped 0.3% to 17,195 yuan.

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